“Christian Science, Unity, and Scientology” in Understanding Sectarian Groups in America Revised: The New Age Movement, The Occult, Mormonism, Hare Krishna, Zen Buddhism, Baha’i, Islam in America
Braswell, George W. Jr. “Christian Science, Unity, and Scientology,” Pages 139–53 in Understanding Sectarian Groups in America Revised: The New Age Movement, The Occult, Mormonism, Hare Krishna, Zen Buddhism, Baha’i, Islam in America. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994.
Braswell’s 13-page overview of Christian Science within the context of ‘sectarian groups in America’ is situated in a chapter covering Christian Science, Unity, and Scientology, although they are all treated separately and distinctly. His primary interest in his survey lies in the relationship between Christian Science and traditional Christianity. Braswell quotes extensively from the primary sources of Mary Baker Eddy’s own writings, highlighting those passages that answer questions from the viewpoint of Christian orthodoxy. He addresses the Christian Science teachings on God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Trinity, man, sin, and salvation, mostly through direct quotes from Mary Baker Eddy. Then he lists the fundamental teachings of traditional Christian doctrine to emphasize his view of the differences. Most of this chapter on Christian Science includes quotes and references by Eddy, but the implication of his critique is based on his view that Christian Science is declining because of its deviation from orthodoxy. “They have lost members and have failed to gain members because of this acceptance of Prophetess Mary Baker Eddy and her ‘Key to the Scriptures’. … Christians can appreciate Christian Scientists’ stress on prayer and health, but not their theories and methodologies” (151).